Verdict: WiFi2Go is a great service for anyone who needs regular access to the internet while overseas. It works in over 100 countries and is one of the few services that offers unlimited 3G data wherever you are. It's a bit pricey for casual users, but a must-have if you love to have the internet with you throughout the day, and not just in hotels in the evening.
There are a few questions we are asked regularly regarding mobile phones and broadband plans, and at the top of that list is "what should I do when I go overseas?"
WiFi2Go is one of just a handful of decent data options for travellers available in Australia and we recently had the opportunity to take this nifty data-only roaming service on a trip to our office in the US.
You may expect this to be a review of the hardware, but there isn't much to say on this front. The modem is a heavy iPhone clone running a stripped back version of Google's Android. You can connect up to 5 devices simultaneously, which is a must for a product like this.
It has an enormous 6000mAh battery inside, which we found was good for several hours of use over two or three consecutive days. On the downside, you do need to give it a few hours to recharge once the battery charge is depleted.
The WiFi2Go team tell us that a new modem will be available soon, so going into too much detail here is probably a waste of effort.
It is the WiFi2Go service which needs the most explanation and is deserving of the highest praise. It works in over 100 countries and offers 500MB of 4G data per day in most of these destinations, with unlimited 3G data for the rest of the day when you hit the cap. In Japan and South Korea, you get unlimited 4G data all day long.
Pricing varies for different parts of the world, but ranges between $8 per day for certain countries in Asia, up to $16 per day in places like South Africa. The US is currently $11 per day, while use in New Zealand is $12 per day.
You can check out the different rates here.
This is a pretty incredible offer when you consider the cost and restrictions of standard roaming options bundled in with mobile phone plans in Australia. Especially if you use online services like Facebook, Whatsapp or WeChat for calling and messaging so you don't need to also pay for calls and SMS while you're away.
Generally we found the performance in the US to be very good. We travelled between two West Coast cities and everything worked as expected. Inside hotel rooms we had good strong signals and fast download speeds. Basically, if you are in a place where you would expect a decent mobile phone signal, then you should also expect the WiFi2Go service to work well too.
To order the service, registered customers log in and let the team know where they are travelling and the dates of the trip. WiFi2Go with them activate the service specifically based on these details. This can include multiple countries too, if you need.
The only real downside is that you need to get the modem before you leave and return it after you arrive home again. WiFi2Go can organise pick up and collection for a price, and has a couple of pick-up and drop-off points scattered around Sydney. Currently a small team, WiFi2Go hopes to expand this area of the business in the future, but for now you will need to plan ahead to make sure you have the modem before you board your flight.